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28 décembre 2005

Geldof's year

2005 was supposed to be the year of Africa. Tony Blair committed Britain to ambitious targets on aid and debt relief. Museums staged major exhibitions dedicated to the continent's art. And one of the biggest popular movements ever - spurred on by a very big pop concert - called on eight world leaders in a Scottish hotel to make poverty history. But what, in the end, did it all achieve? Bob Geldof looks back on a year of 'world-saving bollocks' and argues that whatever his critics say, we really did change things (...)

Bob Geldof :

When I invited my righteously indignant critics to create an event to their liking, in say Regent's Park, and offered to incorporate it into Live8, answer came there none. Indeed, when Peter Gabriel suggested we adopt his Eden Project World Music gig in Cornwall I readily agreed.

Unfortunately, my point is borne out by the fact that 3 million were live spectators to Live8; there were 2,000 in Cornwall. More than 3 billion watched Live8; few saw or watched bits of Cornwall. The Live Aid and Live8 DVDs are the biggest and fastest-selling DVDs ever, now totalling millions of sales; Cornwall has sold a few thousand. That is not to be smug, triumphant or condescending; it is simply to make the point behind my cold, pragmatic thinking around what Live8 was for. If those critics promote an African concert in the future, I wish them well - and can I have some free tickets? But Live8 wasn't and could never be about that. (...)

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